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US Military in Iraq Reports Civilian Casualties in Clash North of Baghdad

15 March 2006

The U.S. military in Iraq says an insurgent, two women and a child have been killed in a clash between U.S. forces and militants north of Baghdad.

However, police and residents say 11 people were killed in the raid on a house near Balad, and the Associated Press says its photographs show 11 bodies wrapped in blankets arriving at a hospital in Tikrit.

U.S. officials could not immediately reconcile the discrepancy. But a military spokesman said one al-Qaida suspect was killed and another was captured in the operation.

Elsewhere, police in Baghdad say two Shi'ite pilgrims were killed as they walked on a roadway toward Karbala for annual festivities marking a key religious celebration that ends Monday.

Separately, police in Baquba say at least four people died in two bombings.

In one incident, police say a suicide bomber on a bicycle missed a police patrol and killed two civilians.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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